Bringing you the latest news, gossip and rumour from the last 24 hours.
Manchester United are nearing a sensational swoop for Robin van Persie if the Mirror is to be believed. The paper report that Sir Alex Ferguson has told close pals that he believes the Arsenal striker will be his next season. The latest official line is that the striker has returned to training with the Gunners, and is still in talks with the club. German tennis legend Boris Becker caused hysteria last night when he claimed the striker had agreed a new two-year deal to remain at the Emirates, but so far there is no word as to the veracity of his claims. Check back on HITC Sport later today for an analysis of how Van Persie could or would not fit into United's set up.
Newcastle United are on another collision course with former Middlesborough boss Steve McClaren after lodging a bid for Twente's Brazilian-born defender Douglas. It has been reported in the last 24 hours that Newcastle have offered £4 million. Fulham and West Ham are also interested and Twente value Douglas higher. The Dutch side rebuffed Newcastle's advances for striker Luuk de Jong, who signed with Borussia Moenchengladbach this week.
West Bromwich Albion are set for a new beginning under Steve Clarke, and what that means for Peter Odemwingie is still up in the air. The striker was linked away during the last transfer window, and has been the subject of a bid from Qatari side Al-Ghafara, write the Express. We expect the Nigerian striker to stay and take his chances under Clarke, but if the manager decides to bring in new strikers during the transfer window the attacker could start pushing for a lucrative move.
Michael Owen to Aston Villa? Don't bet on it. New boss Paul Lambert has moved to quash rumours linking the former Manchester United man with a move to Villa Park, stating such a signing is a non-starter, a bit like Owen at Old Trafford. Nevertheless the striker says he is close to a signing with a Premier League team, whose identity remain undeclared, although Everton, Stoke City and Reading have all been linked.
Martin Jol's Fulham have been linked with a number of strikers this transfer window, and have already signed Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric on free transfers. With Clint Dempsey to Liverpool talk still doing the rounds, the Dutch boss is keen to add one more new face. We told yesterday how Romelu Lukaku was an option, but the Belgian is reported to be holding out to see if other offers come in. Former Juventus ace Vincenzo Iaquinta has been linked but his £60,000 a week wage demands are unlikely to see a move come off, and the Mail report that the club are in talks with Evian over striker Yannick Sagbo. He scored 10 goals last season for the struggling side and his physical stature would likely see him adapt well to the Premier League.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald